WILLIAMSTOWN -There are givens in everyday life: four seasons to every calendar year, the world is not flat and money does not grow on trees.
As far as recent history is concerned, some individuals might even put the high school football series between Williamstown and St. Marys in that same conversation.
Statistically speaking, that is true. Since Terry Smith became head coach at Williamstown, the Yellowjackets have won all 10 meetings against St. Marys.
MICHAEL UHL Special to The Times
Williamstown defenders’ David Hastings (32) and Cody Smith (51) wrap up a South Harrison ballcarrier. The Yellowjackets are counting on their defense to step up and stop visiting St. Marys Friday night.
The two programs meet once again Friday night for homecoming at Williamstown High School. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
Last year, Williamstown won 14-0 in the mud at St. Marys and marked the Yellowjackets' fourth shutout against the Blue Devils in the past eight meetings. During that span, Williamstown has outscored its Pleasants County rival 202-37.
"You know when we play St. Marys, they are going to play hard - we've been fortunate and also been lucky a few times, too," Smith said.
St. Marys enters the contest with a 3-1 record and ranked No. 11 in the WVSSAC Class A poll. Two weeks have passed since the Blue Devils secured their second win in a row after defeating Tyler Consolidated 64-20.
St. Marys did not play last week.
"I watched them (in Week 3) against Parkersburg Catholic - they just run the ball right at you and you have to stop them," Smith said. "They want to control the ball and control the line of scrimmage. We just have to make sure we're watching and paying attention to what's going on, so that we don't give up too many easy scores."
Noah Spitzer headlines the St. Marys ground attack with 383 yards rushing on 56 carries and four touchdowns. David Gray (29-287, 5 TDs) and Derek Barnhart (50-217, 3 TDs) provide depth, while quarterback Andrew Cosper (29-119, 3 TDs) isn't afraid to tuck the ball and run.
"I'm impressed with how hard they run," Smith said.
Cosper, who has completed 13-of-25 passes for 235 yards, will keep opposing defenses honest by going to the air once in a while. His favorite target is Johnny Riggs (5-83, 2 TDs).
"They've been running the option a lot," Smith said.
For the first time since the initial rankings were released three weeks ago, Williamstown made its debut in the Class A top 20 poll at No. 16.
In last week's 23-7 win at Ravenswood, the Yellowjackets posted their second consecutive win by forcing a turnover on all three Red Devil second-half possessions.
Trace Hart recovered a Rhys Jelich fumble, while Beau Wasmer and Hunter Neely both picked off quarterback Heath Burgess.
Williamstown finished with 238 yards on the ground, including a game-high 117 yards on 16 carries from running back Dakota Watson. The sophomore leads his club with 471 yards rushing and five touchdowns.
"Ravenswood has a pretty good team and we were able to run the ball a little bit at their place," Smith said. "Up front on the line, we did a good job."
St. Marys can't key on Watson, however. Fullback David Hastings is averaging 11.0 yards per carry and ranks second on the team with 363 yards on 33 rushes and four touchdowns. The junior also has caught seven passes for 176 yards.
Tailbacks Brad Meeks (28-222, 1 TD) and Hart (25-215, 4 TDs) are able to manufacture yardage when Watson needs a breather.
Even though Jake Tracewell (40-of-71, 536 yards with 5 TDs) threw an interception in the red zone against Ravenswood, coach Smith has total confidence in his junior quarterback.
"We're not a real good throwing team yet, but we are getting better," Smith said.